Tuesday , Feb , 01 , 2005 C.Y. Ellis

Ben Gordon and J.R. Smith garner top NBA rookie honors

New York, NY (Sports Network) – Chicago’s Ben Gordon and New Orleans’ J.R.
Smith were named the NBA Rookies of the Month for January.

Gordon helped the Bulls to a 13-3 record for the month and ended Charlotte
forward/center Emeka Okafor’s two-month run as the East’s top rookie. Gordon
and Okafor were college teammates at Connecticut.

Among the highlights for Gordon was a game-winning shot with 1/10th of a
second left in a January 17 victory over the New York Knicks. He scored 17
points in 19 minutes of that game, and twice recorded an NBA rookie season
high of 31 points.

Smith had a breakout month for the Hornets in capturing the West’s top honor.
He had more total points (135) in January than he did during the previous two
months combined. In a January 8 overtime win against Sacramento, Smith scored
a career-high 23 points.

Other nominees for the top rookie honors included Okafor, Dallas’ Devin
Harris, Seattle’s Nick Collison and Quinton Ross of the Los Angeles Clippers.